A new trailer for Sofia Coppola’s upcoming movie, The Beguiled has been released in advance of the Cannes Film Festival, where it has been entered into competition. Starring Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell, Elle Fanning, and Kirsten Dunst, it is based on a 1966 Southern Gothic novel, A Painted Devil by Thomas Cullinan.

Set during the Civil War, the plot involves a group of women sequestered in a girls boarding school in the South, whose lives are turned upside down by the appearance of a wounded Union soldier. The movie is scheduled to debut in theaters on June 30th. Based on the trailer, IndieWire ventures that, “Coppola might just have the indie hit of the summer on her hands.”

Cullinan’s book was adapted before, also under the title The Beguiled.  Released in 1971, it starred Clint Eastwood and Geraldine Page. Considered a flop, it reportedly has developed a cult following since. The trailer for that movie works hard to attract audiences to the story of “a man who becomes prisoner to these man-deprived women, these man-eager girls.”

Coppola told Entertainment Weekly earlier this year that hers will be quite a different movie.  She shifts the focus away from he soldier to “the dynamics between a group of women all stuck together, and then also the power shifts between men and women.”

Little information is available about the 1966 novel, which has been out of print for 30 years. For the upcoming tie-in edition, the publisher quotes Stephen King from his book on horror novels and films, Danse Macabre, calling it “[A] mad gothic tale . . . The reader is mesmerized with horror by what goes on in that forgotten school for young ladies.” There are a few, mostly positive reviews on GoodReads, from film buffs who managed to snag out-of-print copies.

The Beguiled: A Novel (Movie Tie-In)
Thomas Cullinan
PRH/Penguin Books, Trade Paperback; OverDrive
On Sale Date: June 6, 2017

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